May 7, 2014
No. 14 UMass & No. 11 Loyola Set To Square Off In NCAA First Round
The No. 14/14 UMass women's lacrosse team will face a familiar foe on Friday afternoon in the NCAA Tournament First Round as the Minutewomen take on No. 11 Loyola at the Boston College Lacrosse Complex in Newton, Mass. The meeting is a rematch of the 2011 NCAA First Round which was the first postseason appearance for UMass head coach Angela McMahon and the 2014 senior class.
The Minutewomen are making their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and the fifth in the last six years. UMass defeated UConn last year in the first round before falling to Penn State.
UMass is riding a nine-game win streak entering the NCAA Tournament bolstered by a pair of wins to secure it sixth straight Atlantic 10 Championship title last weekend.
Fans will be able to listen to Friday's game through www.UMassAthletics.com thanks to the UMass Sports Network. Cody Chrusciel will call the action on the free audio stream, which is also available on mobile devices by downloading the free Atlantic 10 app. Live stats will also be available through UMassAthletics.com along with in-game twitter updates @UMassAthletics.
Friday's UMass/Loyola game will be the first a double-header with Boston College hosting Bryant at 5 PM. The winners of Friday's first round action will meet on Sunday in the NCAA Second Round. That game will also be held at the BC Lacrosse Complex with the opening draw slated for 1 PM.
About UMass In 2014
UMass enters the 2014 NCAA Tournament after posting another strong season under head coach Angela McMahon. The Minutewomen put together an 18-1 campaign with their lone loss coming against No. 7 Northwestern on March 25. Since then, UMass has won nine straight games including the Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament to further its postseason aspirations.
For the fourth straight year, UMass posted a perfect mark in Atlantic 10 play going 7-0 during the regular-season. The 2014 senior class went completely undefeated against the league during their careers with a 28-0 regular-season record and a 36-0 overall record with eight wins in tournament play.
While the offense gets much of the credit for the results on the field, the UMass defense may be one of the best in school history. UMass is allowing just 6.11 goals per game which ranks 2nd nationally this season. The hallmark of the Minutewomen is not just an athletic defense in settled play, but an aggressive ride which has helped turn offense into defense.
UMass possesses one of the top scoring duos in the NCAA this season. Attacks Katie Ferris and Sam Rush have combined for 159 points. The pair have accounted for 109 of UMass' 278 goals this year or nearly 40%.
The 2014 UMass senior class has compiled quite an impressive resume in four years. The eight-member class has 72 wins, four Atlantic 10 Championships, four NCAA Tournament berths and one NCAA Tournament win. That came last season ending a 29-year drought between postseason wins.
UMass In The NCAA Tournament
UMass has been to the NCAA Tournament on seven prior occassions with the most recent being last season. The Minutewomen's appearance in the 2014 NCAA Tournament marks the fourth consecutive year and the fifth in the last six years. Prior to the recent run which began in 2009, UMass appeared in the Big Dance in 1982, 1983, and 1984. The Minutewomen won the 1982 National Championship - the first NCAA sponsored NCAA championship for women's lacrosse. In 1983 and 1984, UMass reached the semifinals.
In 2010, 2011, and 2012, UMass appeared in the NCAA Play-In Game falling at No. 15 Stanford 15-12 in 2010 and defeating Canisius in 2011 and 2012. The 2013 season marked the first time since 2009 that the Atlantic 10 had an automatic berth. UMass received the Atlantic 10's automatic berth in both 2013 and 2014. UMass has won a league record six straight A-10 tournament titles which have paved the way to the NCAA Tournament.
The 2014 meeting vs. Loyola is a rematch of the 2011 NCAA First Round game which the Greyhounds won 14-7 in Angela McMahon's first season at UMass. The Minutewomen then lost at third-seeded and No. 3 ranked Maryland 15-12 in the 2012 NCAA First Round.
UMass' win against UConn last season marked its first NCAA Tournament win since defeating Harvard 5-4 on May 12, 1984 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round - A span of 29 years.
The Last Meeting
|#5 Loyola (Md)||14
May 14, 2011
Baltimore, Md. (Ridley Athletic Complex)
#13 Women's Lax Falls 14-7 At #5 Loyola In NCAA First Round
A four-goal Loyola run in the second half set-up a 14-7 win for the 6th-seeded Greyhounds knocking the UMass women's lacrosse team out of the NCAA Tournament First Round. Loyola, ranked fifth nationally, was led by Meg Decker's season-high five goals, while 13th-ranked UMass was led by Haley Smith's two goals. The Minutewomen finish the season with a 17-3 overall record - the second most wins in program history.
Previous NCAA Match-UP With Loyola (2011)
UMass and Loyola last met in the NCAA Tournament in 2011 with the Greyhounds holding serve over the Minutewomen 14-7 in Baltimore. A pair of four goal runs in each half proved the difference maker, but the game served as the benchmark of success that became the next three years in Amherst.
UMass trailed 6-3 at halftime, but Katie Ferris, the a freshman, scored the opening goal of the first half to cut the Greyhound lead to 6-4. Loyola then used its second four goal spurt over a five minute period to extend its lead to 10-4 and effectively holding the upstart Minutewomen at bay for the balance of the game.
Loyola was the sixth-seed in that season's NCAA Tournament field and was ranked fifth nationally. UMass was unseeded and ranked 13th nationally.
Series With Loyola
Friday will be the fourth all-time meeting between UMass and Loyola. The Minutewomen are 0-3 all-time with the first two meetings taking place in 1989 (L, 6-12) and 1990 (L, 3-10). The most recent meeting was the 2011 NCAA Tournament First Round (L, 7-14) in Baltimore. Friday's match-up will be the first-ever neutral site game between the two programs.
UMass In The Atlantic 10 Tournament
In 14 appearances in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, UMass sports a 16-7 overall record. UMass made it to the Championship Game in 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 - winning the Tournament title in 2000, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
UMass has played Richmond eight times; Temple and Duquesne four times; George Wahington three times; Virginia Tech twice; and La Salle and Saint Joseph's once.
Friday was the fourth meeting between UMass and Duquesne. The two teams met last season in the A-10 Championship game with the Minutewomen winning 14-7 in Amherst. UMass defeated the Dukes this season 16-8 in Pittsburgh for the regular-season finale.
Sunday was the 8th all-time meeting between UMass and Richmond in the A-10 Tournament. The two teams have met four times in the Championship game (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) with UMass winning each of those games.
UMass has played four overtime games in its A-10 Tournament history posting a 4-0 record. Two of those OT wins were for the league championship titles.
2014 marks the fifth time UMass has entered the A-10 Tournament as the No. 1 Seed. In 2000, UMass finished the season in a three-way tie for 1st, but were the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
UMass entered the Tournament for the fourth straight season coming off an undefeated run through the Atlantic 10 schedule - 7-0 in league play in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
UMass holds the most A-10 Championship titles (7) and for consecutive titles won (6) - a league record for both.
A-10 Postseason Honors
After a 16-1 regular season and an undefeated run through conference play, a total of nine UMass women's lacrosse student-athletes earned Atlantic 10 Lacrosse postseason honors as announced by the league on Thursday. The group was headlined by senior Kate Ferris earning her third career A-10 Player of the Year award, while a program record five players earned first team recognition.
UMass, ranked No. 13 nationally, also had a program-high four players named to the A-10 All-Academic Team.
Joining Ferris on the Atlantic 10 First Team was attack Sam Rush, midfielder Tanner Guarino, defender Kelsey Sheridan, and defender Kelsey McGovern. Earning second team honors were midfielder Melissa Carelli and goalie Rachel Vallarelli. Freshman midfielder Hannah Murphy was named to the A-10 All-Rookie Team.
On the Academic All-Conference Team were Ellie Bullitt, Carelli, McGovern, and Sheridan.
Top 15 RPI For UMass Over The Last 3 Years
In the final 2013 RPI report from the NCAA, UMass finished No. 11 and was the highest ranked Atlantic 10 program.
UMass finished 2012 with a No. 6 RPI according to the final NCAA report making it the highest ranked A-10 team.
With a No. 8 RPI entering the tournament, that marks three straigt years UMass has had a top 15 RPI - a program record.
UMass Among The 2014 NCAA Stat Leaders (5/5)
For the 2014 campaign, UMass has been among the NCAA leaders in several categories. UMass is the No. 1 team in scoring margin thanks to a defense that's ranked 2nd nationally allowing just 6.11 goals per game. Offensively, UMass is the No. 7 scoring team averaging 14.63 goals per game. UMass ranks 3rd overall in total points this year (415), while also ranking in the top-10 for caused turnovers (3rd, 10.84/game) and groundballs (12th, 18.63/game).
Individually, Katie Ferris ranks 8th in assists (41) and 9th in points (85). Sam Rush ranks 6th in goals (65) and 17th in points (74).Rachel Vallarelli ranks 2nd in goals-against-average (6.04) and 20th in save percentage (.459).
46 Consecutive Weeks Ranked In Top 20
Since the 2011 season, UMass has been ranked among the nation's top 20 in both the IWLCA Coaches Poll and the Brine Media Poll for 46 straight weeks. That is the longest span in program history to hold a ranking.
The highest rank during that span was when the Minutewomen reached No. 8 in the Brine Media Poll entering the 2013 NCAA Tournament and in the March 10, 2014 poll. UMass finished the 2012 regular-season at No. 9 in the deBeer Media Poll.
UMass was ranked No. 13 in both the IWLCA Coaches Poll and the Brine Media Poll to start the 2014 season. After opening the season 7-0, UMass was ranked No. 9 in the Brine Media Poll and No. 9 in the IWLCA Coaches Poll with the March 16 release. This week, UMass is No. 14 in the IWLCA Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the Brine media top-20.
UMass One Of The Top NCAA Teams Over Last Four Years
With a record of 72-9, three Atlantic 10 Championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, UMass has been one of the top teams nationally over the last four years.
The 72 wins are the SECOND MOST for any team in the four year time span (including 2014). Maryland leads the nation in wins with a 80-7 record over that time span followed by Northwestern (71-12) which is tied with UMass. The Minutewomen are ahead of Florida (68-12), Navy (64-14), North Carolina (61-17), and Syracuse (64-18).
Statistically, UMass has ranked among the nation's elite in points, scoring offense and scoring defense. In 2013, UMass was 3rd in points (467), 5th in scoring offense (14.76) and 9th in scoring defense (8.24). UMass led the nation in points in 2012 (491), was 2nd in offense (15.81) and ranked 11th in scoring defense (9.0). The 2011 campaign ended with UMass ranked 7th nationally in points (388), 5th in scoring offense (14.65) and 10th in scoring defense (8.70). This season, UMass ranks 3rd in points (415), 7th in scoring offense (14.63), and 2nd in scoring defense (6.11).
18 Wins Are 3rd Most In Program History
UMass' 18 wins in 2014 are the 3rd most in program history. The most wins in one year was 20 which occured in 1978. The previous three years to this season yielded the other top win totals: 19 (2012), 18 (2013), 17 (2011).
9-0 Start 4th Best In Program History
The win over Southern California gave UMass its fourth-best start to a season in program history at 9-0. The best start was in 1979 at 15-0 followed by a 13-0 start during the 1980 season. In 1982, UMass was a perfect 10-0 for the season - the only undefeated season in program history and the year of the Minutewomen's National Championship title.
Ferris Continues Climb On Career Charts
Senior attack Katie Ferris continues to re-write in the women's lacrosse all-time career record book. Last season, the native of Carthage, N.Y., became just the fourth person all-time to score 200 career points in the history of the UMass women's lacrosse program. She is the UMass career leader in points (330), goals (211), and assists (119).
In 2012, Ferris set the UMass single-season record for points (98), goals (59) and assists (39). Her 98 points was also a new Atlantic 10 record breaking Jami Wilus' record of 94 set in 2001.
In the win over Richmond in the 2014 A-10 Championship Tournament, Ferris added another record to her collection as she set the new UMass single-season assist mark with 41.
Ferris enters the NCAA Tournament as the second active leading career point scorer in the NCAA (330) behind Syracuse's Alyssa Murray (340). Ferris is also the NCAA's third leading active career goal scorer with 211 which is behind Syracuse's Murray (212) and Vermont's Sydney Mas (218). Her 119 assists are the 7th most of any current player in the country.
Ferris 15th In NCAA History For Career Points
With 330 career points, senior attack Katie Ferris is now the 15th all-time leading point scorer in NCAA history tied with former Georgetown great Sheehan Stanwich Burch. She is the only Atlantic 10 player on the top-20 list, though Temple's Gail Cumming's (1985-88) is on the list prior to the league sponsoring the sport.
Rush Ties Single-Season Goal Record
While Kate Ferris gets most of the publicity for re-writing the UMass record book, it's senior attack Sam Rush who is doing some editing of her own. With 65 goals in 2013, including a six-goal performance in the A-10 Championship title game, Rush broke the UMass single-season scoring record. Ferris had broken the record in each of the previous two seasons with 59 in 2012 being the old standard.
The senior currently ranks 2nd all-time in career goals at UMass with 174 after scoring 65 goals in 19 games.
Rush tied her school-record of 65 goals in a single season this year when she scored two in the A-10 Championship game. Her next goal scored will set a new school record.
Rush also became the 5th player in program history to log 200+ points for a career after posting three points against Richmond in the Atlantic 10 Championship game. She enters the NCAA Tournament with an even 200 points.
Guarino On The Cusp Of 100 Goals
Tanner Guarino is one of the active leading scorers on the team this season with 99 goals and 149 points entering the NCAA Tournament. She needs one more goals this season to hit the 100 goal plateau. She is also one of the Minutewomen's top midfielders with 112 career groundballs, 82 draw controls and 67 caused turnovers.
McGovern Is Quick On The Draw
Aside from being one of the Minutewomen's top defensive players, Kelsey McGovern is also UMass' primary draw specialist. After recording 35 draw controls as a freshman and sophomore back-up Nina Sarcona, McGovern had a career year in 2013 with 110 to her credit. She broke the UMass career draw control record this year in the win over George Mason and now has 198 for her career. The 110 last season is the best single-season total in program history (Sarcona set the previous record in 2012 with 109 and holds the career record at 193) and makes her just the second player in program history to hit the century mark.
McGovern missed the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament with a knee injury, but returned to play in the NCAA First Round against UConn where she hauled in a game-high eight draw controls.
Her 110 draw controls in 2013 ranks as the 11th-best mark in NCAA history for a single season. She needs six more draw controls this season to crack the NCAA's top 20 list for all-time career individuals.
Vallarelli Steady In Goal
Rachel Vallarelli has quietly been one of the top performers on the defensive side of the ball. The goalie from Hartsdale, N.Y., is having her best career year in cage with a 6.04 goals-against-average and her second best year so far with a .459 save percentage. For her career, she has played in 48 games posting a 29-3 overall record. She has a career 7.24 goals-against-average and a .435 save percentage in just under 2,100 minutes played. She ranks 2nd all-time at UMass in terms of wins and is 2nd in goals-against-average.
McMahon An Up-And-Coming Coach
In just four years as the head coach at UMass, Angela McMahon is already the second-winningest coach in program history in terms of wins (72) and is No. 1 in win percentage (.884). With a 54-7 record entering the 2014 season, she had the best overall record of any women's lacrosse coach in NCAA history in the first three years at a school - She ranks 2nd in terms of win percentage behind Maryland's Cindy Timchal who was 40-5 (.889) in her first 3 seasons with the Terps. McMahon's 72 career wins at UMass is second to just Hall of Famer Pam Hixon's 91 from 1979-87 which included 3 NCAA Tournament appearances and the 1982 NCAA National Championship.
UMass is in its eighth year playing at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and is 49-17 all-time at the facility. Over the last four seasons, UMass is 35-3 at home including 11-0 in 2012, 10-0 in 2013, and 9-1 in 2014.
UMass had won 31 consecutive games at McGuirk before falling to Northwestern on March 25, 2014 (10-6). That ranks 3rd all-time in NCAA history for most consecutive home wins. The last time UMass lost at McGuirk Stadium was on March 26, 2011 - also against No. 2 Northwestern (17-7).
UMass was not scheduled to play any games this spring at Garber Field which is the home of the men's lacrosse team and the field hockey team. The women's lacrosse team previously played there until 2007.
Fans will see one of the most dramatic upgrades to the stadium facility happen this spring as a new UMass Football Training Facility and Press Box will begin construction. Both projects are slated to be completed in July 2014.
UMass Building Upon A-10 Success
UMass is 45-6 in the Atlantic 10 over the last six seasons which includes six A-10 Tournament Titles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), five regular-season titles (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and one tournament runner-up finish (2008).
Since the loss against La Salle to end the 2010 regular season, UMass has won 40 consecutive games against A-10 teams (including A-10 tournament games) breaking the record of 25 set by Temple in 2001-03.
UMass' 28 consecutive regular-season conference wins (2011-2013) is the fourth longest such streak in NCAA history.
In addition to the past five straight A-10 Titles, UMass also won the A-10 title in 2000.
All-time, UMass is 78-29 (.710) in the Atlantic 10 and 16-7 (.533) in the A-10 Tournament. UMass holds the league record for most regular-season wins (78) after passing former member Temple (74) this season.
UMass' six consecutive conference championship titles is the longest consecutive run in Atlantic 10 history. UMass' seven overall Atlantic 10 Championships is also a league record.